KEF LS50W: is the DAC the worse part of the package?

Hi all,

I just read around that the DAC built in the KEFs are the worst part of them.

I own a Mojo and I could use it, paired to an iPhone as Roon endpoint.

BUT, for comfort reasons, I find using the KEF directly as Roon Endpoint a very nice thing.

So, what do you think about the internal DAC of the Kefs? It’s really so bad as many people say?

PS: I still didn’t do an A/B test (mojo and internal kef dac).

If you like the sound, why do you care?
Do the comparison and then you will have something to go on if it really bothers you.

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I just ask what you think about that affirmations.

I am pretty new to the Kefs, they still in burn-in, I even still didn’t connect my sub to them.

Just wanted an opinion from people with more time with them.

The ‘problem’ is, there’s always a better DAC, somewhere.
As has already been stated, just relax and enjoy the sound they make :grinning:

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If you use an external DAC into the analogue inputs on the Kefs, you will still be using the internal DAC in the Kefs because the analogue input is converted to 192/24 internally by an ADC before being passed through internal DSP and on to the internal DACs and amps for each driver.

Now, if you have a DAC you like the sound of, there’s no reason not to experiment and see if you like the sound of it through the analogue input, but you’ll lose some of the Roon functionality. (Volume Control from Roon).

I’ve used both KEF native through Wifi and Roon (and with KEF apps), BluOS Node2 connected via analog and quite frankly, there is a difference, but not necessarily better. So, for what they are used for (background and dedicated listening at times), I like the simplicity of keeping it native and the sound is good enough. To help provide context, these are in an apartment, so size/performance was my main driver (and wife appeal).

I think the differences most people hear when they change DAC are mainly EQ differences.

With Roon we now have the ability to play around with EQ within DSP. This, to me, is hugely powerful, and is one of the main reasons I went to Roon + LS50w and sold my passive LS50. Because, as great as the passives are, I didn’t have… couldn’t afford… and couldn’t be bothered investing the time and effort swapping and changing sources and amplification until I got a sound I liked in my specific listening space… my lounge.

With Roon and DSP and with a small PEQ tweak, I’ve got the sound I want, with minimum effort. I can now just sit back and enjoy the music.

Bliss! :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi Marco,

Not sure exactly how people are coming to the conclusion that the DACs (there are four of them, one for each amplifier) are a weak link, as you cannot bypass them without extensive DIY.

The analogue input goes through A/D so we can apply the DSP and phase correction, so using the Mojo is doubling up on the conversions. I do have a Mojo/Poly and have on occasion connected to LS50W. Presentation is different. Not necessarily better, as that’s obviously down to personal preference).

Give it a try though (with the Mojo set to line level). I just thought I’d give you the rundown on what is happening in the signal chain. Whichever way you enjoy it, enjoy it. That’s the main thing here.

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